Motorcyle Man by Kristen Ashley

Why I read it:  I had to check out what all the fuss was about.  Honestly, I expected to be underwhelmed.  Imagine my surprise when I found myself sucked into the Kristen Ashley vortex.  There is no going back.
What it’s about: (from Goodreads)  Stuck in a colorless world, Tyra Masters decides to chuck her old life and starts searching for something. She doesn’t know what it is until she meets her dream man. The goateed, tattooed, muscled, gravelly voiced motorcycle man who plies her with tequila and gives her the best sex of her life. But she knows it isn’t the tequila and sex talking. He’s it. He’s who she’s been daydreaming about since she could remember.Until he makes it clear she isn’t who he’s looking for.Tyra slinks away from his bed, humiliated. The problem is, he’s her new boss. She just may or may not have forgotten to tell him that part.Kane “Tack” Allen has a rule. He doesn’t employ someone he’s slept with. And he lets Tyra know that in his motorcycle man way. Tyra fights for her job and wins it using sass and a technicality. Tack challenges her that if she hits his bed one more time, she loses her job.

Tyra is determined to keep her job and keep away from Tack. But she makes a big mistake. During their head-to-heads, she lets it all hang out and shows Tack she is who he’s looking for. And Tack has had a good woman slip through his fingers, he’s not about to let that happen again.

Although Tack colors Tyra’s world with a vibrancy that’s blinding, being with him means she has to live in his Motorcycle Club world. Full on, no holds barred. And since Tack’s world, not to mention Tack, is a little scary, Tyra isn’t so sure.
It’s Tack’s job to convince her.

What worked for me (and what didn’t): Oh man! Where do I start? The enjoyment factor of this book for me was off the charts.  Sure, there were some problems with it.  Mostly, those problems were related to writing tics and some problematic editing.  But I now completely understand what other people have been talking about when they say that they wouldn’t want to see her books too heavily edited because part of the crazysauce is what makes the story so much fun.  It’s a wild ride from start to finish and I lapped it up.
There is possibly, overuse of the word “therefore”.  At least, I thought so at first.  But, by the end, I kind of liked it.  It was very Tyra.But, truthfully, some of the sentences are just impenetrable.

This was also something I didn’t need. Rush, the eldest at seventeen, nearly eighteen (Tabby just turned sixteen, upon which Tack gave her a car, the same as he did for Rush, this I learned while Tabby chattered away), I could see as he was her big brother. Tack, since he was her father and she was his only daughter, I could also see but that didn’t mean I wanted to see it.

What does that even mean anyway??  I tried to read it squinty eyed and everything and I could not make any sense of it.

The story is told (mostly*) from Tyra’s first person POV and ordinarily, it would follow that there wouldn’t be all that much of the hero.  Not so.  The book is dialogue heavy (which I love) and there is PLENTY of Tack. Just as well because he is pretty amazing.  Once he decides Tyra is it for him, he is IN.  He is devoted and some of the things which come out of his mouth are so sweetly romantic – even though he is one completely baddass biker man.

I swallowed and felt a tear slide partway down my cheek but it didn’t get very far before Tack swept it away. 

“That’s the only tear he gets, darlin’. This is not a guy you cry over.” 

“I’m crying for Lanie,” I told him as another tear spilled out of my other eye. That one didn’t get very far either because Tack’s head dipped in and his lips kissed it away. That felt unbelievably sweet but my heart hurt so much, when he did that, I closed my eyes and tears spilled down each side. 

I felt his forehead against mine, another swipe of his thumb to wipe the wetness away and I heard him whisper, “Baby, I can’t keep up.”

He is also very very sexy and masculine.  If you like the carer alpha type, you might fall a little bit in love with him like I did.

“Baby,” his voice gentled, “this is me seein’ to that soft spot when I say quiet-like that I… will… be… there in ten. And what I mean is, when I get there in ten, your ass better be there.” 

Oh boy.

“Are you coming on your bike?”


“I’m in a tight, short, little, aquamarine dress with high heels. I can’t get on a bike.”

“You’re in a tight, short dress and high heels?” Tack asked.


“I’ll be there in five.”

Tyra doesn’t just roll over and take any crap from Tack either – their to and fro was a lot of fun and even though one couldn’t say there was any equality in the Chaos Motorcycle Club, their relationship wasn’t all Tack’s way.  Tyra has her own power and she wields it well.

I also enjoyed the parts of the book where the girls from previous books got together with Tyra and brought her into their “posse”.  The way the ladies were depicted with each other felt authentic and were really funny. And when all the ladies’ partners turn up to collect them Tyra observes

I memorized the view because, seriously, they were like out of a movie about cool, badass macho men and funny, sassy women that dressed kickass who all bantered and got kidnapped frequently. 

Except better.

Which is but one example of how the book doesn’t take itself too seriously.

What I hadn’t quite realised is just how funny Kristen Ashley’s books are, if this is an example (and I’m reliably informed it is).  They way she thinks to herself is hilarious – like here, where she is dismayed by meeting Tack’s children, Rush and Tabby.

“I hate my name. Mom gave me my name and I hate my Mom ‘cause she’s a total bitch,” she replied. 

I couldn’t argue with that and I couldn’t agree with it. I also couldn’t make myself vanish in a puff of smoke and reappear in Siberia even though I was using every fiber of my being to try.

The run-on sentences are the way Tyra thinks – her narration has a stream of consciousness feel to it almost. And because of that, it’s hard to want them to be cut very much.  Many many of these run-on sentences are laugh out loud funny – once you get the hang of reading them.  (Though, they could seriously benefit from use of the emdash.)

Another part of what’s funny is Tack’s audacity.  He’s confident and he’s not afraid to put it all out there – sometimes to Tyra’s great shock and dismay.

His eyes traveled the length of me and as they were doing this, he cut me off again. “Jesus, what the fuck you got on?”

I looked down at my yoga clothes then back at him. “I just got back from yoga.”

His eyes took their time sliding back up my body before they locked on mine. “You finish that Employee Handbook, you make that,” he tipped his head to me, “the dress code.”

“I’m not wearing yoga clothes to work, Tack.” 

He held my eyes, his lips turned up slightly then he looked down at the coffee table, put his beer on it and reached for a slice of pizza saying, “Probably a good call. Every guy who works there is takin’ their break in the bathroom, jackin’ off, thinkin’ of you in your tight skirts and sex kitten shoes. You wear that to work, no one’d get any work done.”

Tack’s philosophy on life challenges and charms Tyra and she learns to embrace it.

“Life’s a roller coaster. Best damn ride in the park. You don’t close your eyes, hold on and wait for it to be over, babe. You keep your eyes open, lift your hands straight up in the air and enjoy the ride for as long as it lasts.”

There’s a thing Tack does sometimes which at first seems very confronting.  He puts his hand around Tyra’s throat.  Usually in times of high stress but never in anger.  But, when the explanation of what is actually going on when he does that is finally given, it is perfect and beautiful and original and charming.  Seriously.

(*there are some bits right at the end from various characters’ POV but it is very clear who is talking and when)

What else?
  I thought Tyra had backbone and gave as good as she got – within her skill set.  But she was not a ninja assassin so when faced with bigger, stronger and dangerous men out to get her, she’s really got no chance except for Tack riding to the rescue.  I love a rescue story.  I do.  I love the stories where the hero (somehow) rescues the heroine and the heroine also (somehow) rescues the hero.  In this book, Tack rescues Tyra more than once from physical danger but he also “colors her world” and Tyra, for her part, rescues Tack in more subtle and emotional ways but her side of the bargain is not unequal, in my opinion.  There are readers who don’t like this trope, so I can definitely see that her books just will not work for some.  But, it’s one I happen to love and I gather that it is rife throughout Ashley’s books.  Along with the hero having some kind of dark tortured past pain and everything being laid on the line for love, it rings my bells and checks my boxes.  Yippee for me.The book is full of humour, lust, love, some hot sex (really hot but lots of story too), almost non-stop and somewhat over-the-top (but great) action.  It is full of heightened emotion which I realise won’t be everyone’s cup of tea – for me, there were just parts of the story where I held my breath waiting to see what happened next.  It was a compulsive page-turner.I had been put of regarding what I’d heard of the editing (or lack of) in the book but, frankly, I’ve seen far more typos in traditionally published books.  Sure there was a little bit of tense-torture and those super-long sentences (some of which, on any view, just did not make sense), but the pros definitely outweighed the cons.  I was both surprised and delighted by it.  Plus, Ashley has an extensive backlist and they’re not hugely expensive.

Also, regular readers may notice, I really cannot be too negative about run-on sentences.  Ahem.

For pure enjoyability, I have to grade this book pretty high.  I can see this becoming a comfort read, for sure.

I was looking at the shadowed planes of his chest, feeling warm and fuzzy and I’d been doing this for a while when Tack muttered, “Every day, somethin’ new. Will I ever get to the heart of you?”

I pulled in a deep breath. Damn, but I liked that too and the part I liked was it sounded like he both wanted to and didn’t but either way would be fine with him.

“I don’t know. No one has ever tried,” I answered quietly.

“Well, darlin’, gratitude. ‘Cause you just ensured I’ll sleep good knowin’ I’m the first man who gets that shot.”

That made me turn my head, press my face in his skin and deep breathe to control happy tears.

“Fuck me, she really can’t handle sweet,” he muttered to the ceiling.

“So stop doing it,” I suggested.

“Not a chance,” he returned.

God, I hoped not.

I really, really did.

Grade: A-

4 comments on “Motorcyle Man by Kristen Ashley

  1. Kaetrin

    @Merrian Thx for the link to that – I'm sure I read it at the time, but having read some of her books now, I can relate better.I'm a very hero-centric reader so I do tend to bang on about the heroes. What surprised me a little in the KA books I've read so far is how much I've liked the girlfriend "posse" stuff. It's very well done I think.

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